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Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jul 12, 2018, thomasR wrote:

the family thing... I don't really understand why that's in there... it seems out of place.



In obrienmagic's thread on getting feedback on his Promo Reel, in one of the posts thomasR made the following observation. Since I didn't want to hijack obrienmagic's thread (and this isn't specifically regarding to or referring him) I thought I'd start this one to take the discussion off in a different direction, because I think thomasR has hit upon something I have been seeing more and more over recent years and would like to address it as it seems to be something that has happened to impacted most here at one point or another.

In another recent thread, I referred to the magic community as an often monkey-see, monkey-do type of community. Of course, this is taken from the larger online and social media worlds where this has become the new norm for business these days. What I mean by that is many magicians follow what others are doing. We have seen many great examples of this here over the years and more recently across the community within performance many regularly performing the same tricks and presentations, to website template designs, to terms and phrases, to the boom several years back of sooo many kids performers getting the cartoon/animated logos (all from the same person evidently, lol) and many even taking the cartoon concept into their use across the board in their websites, promotional materials, signage and so on.

Of course, this creates a plethora of same-looking magicians. Then one will latch on to something new and others continue to do the same thing as well. Very few these days attempt to be unique or different and separate themselves from the pack. Instead, they see it as cookie-cutter, plug- n-play resources often validated with the mentality of "well no one else in my market has it, so I am okay" - which again is completely missing the point and readjusting things to fit with their own justification.

The point is this is happening throughout the community and I firmly believe it all comes heavily from the guru influence. However, once again, as we often see here, people are taking the guru offered content, and creating their own use, justifications and definition/application either without complete understanding of how it was offered properly, or by the guru not properly or deeply enough informing and educating to its proper use and context (if the even know and understand).

thomasR asked "I don't really understand why it's there..." in reference to a portion of the video being discussed. Now, this is NOT intended for obrienmagic but more of a generalization of what I have been seeing over and over again with magicians and other performers. The gurus will introduce its purchasers (books, courses, trainings, DVDs, etc.) to things like testimonials, lead magnets (how many magicians have a "free Report or ""Party Planning Guide"?) and concepts like your first fold of the landing page, must have videos, tell your own personal story, let them get to know a bit about you personally, and literally hundreds of other guru "elements" that they insist are your "missing pieces to effectiveness or success." They simply introduce something but rarely ever talk enough about its proper use, application and the right context. And how using it incorrectly or improperly can produce the exact opposite result - ineffectiveness, lack of engagement, turn-off, tune-out, or worse.

When I watched the discussed segment of the video, it was my first exact thought. "He must have heard some guru somewhere say "you want to let your audience to get to know you personally. It really engages and connects with them. They see you as a real person, down to earth, just like them. Make it personal, perhaps even touching. Relate to them on their level through your storytelling..." and so on with a lot more typical online guru stuff. Then the reader GET'S THEIR OWN BELIEF OR PERCEPTION OF THIS, almost always out of context or not how it was intended for the desired result and attempt to do their version of what was said and offered (likely incomplete anyhow in the first place) resulting in a bunch of these elements used ineffective and ultimately out of place. Yes, some of these concepts have merit - when used in the proper and exact way, but little effort is put on teaching or more so understanding this by the recipient.

I see it daily with the misuse of testimonials and actualities, Headlines, USP & Elevator Pitches (which most still not get right, understand or use properly), website layout, opt-in generators or magnets and so much other online guru content. Yet, the performers think they ARE doing these things and do not see the problem or difference.

This is where the whole online marketing and guru worlds are creating the cookie-cutter, misunderstood customers, that begin using this stuff improperly and it starts setting them up for failure or lack of desired results. What happened to people wanting to get the true and proper understanding of something BEFORE attempting to apply it? Why do these performers get so defensive when this insight is offered and explained to them? Why are magicians so willing to just fit in with the pack at all times in so many aspects?

This is also a great example of why general information is only minimally helpful or beneficial at all, especially when discussing or addressing specific topics, strategies and executions.

thomasr's "I really don't understand why" is a great opportunity to look deeper at the greater picture and to open ourselves up to the deeper, proper or real understanding of specifics. Walter mentioned this well over a year ago, but context or the "proper context" seems to be at the root of much of this.
Dannydoyle
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We have arrived at the point where the gurus themselves are cookie cutter.

When we get material in to review my wife and I used to try to see which guru was used to put it together first just by watching. It was incredibly easy. Not so much any more with all the knock off guru nonsense but still an interesting exercise.

If we want to talk about why that stuff is bad in s video we can, but it will cause hurt feelings I'm afraid.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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The comment from thomasr and the video just brought the topic to light, as I said it wasn't intended to be about the video, but in the greater picture of almost everything else as well. I agree with copycat gurus. Combine that with affiliate programs and there is little fresh or original content these days and much misleading.

As far as "hurt feeling" I guess that is one way to look at it, however, I would rather deal in reality, facts and total and complete understanding of things in a proper context than worrying about my feelings being hurt or a bruised ego. It should be about true understanding and growth. After all, this is about business.
Theodore Lawton
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So what would your recommendation be for those who are seeking honest input and assistance?

or...

How can we avoid the copycat pitfalls and market our originality in a way that drives results?

I realize you charge for this kind of information, but is there anything you're willing to share?
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

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God bless you and have a magical day
Dannydoyle
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First thing is to find what defines you.

Don Alan 30 years ago or more once observed that he didn't see a young guy in magic an agent could go to a client and say "I have a guy who can...". Everyone was the same. Not much different about anyone.

You see it here all the time with guys asking for the favorite top 5 tricks for X. Or best marketing courses. It is a real trap.

Now to be fair if you only want to hit a certain level it may not matter. But doing what everyone else does is a great way to end up where everyone else is. I'm not saying it is bad or good, just that it is.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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On Jul 14, 2018, Theodore Lawton wrote:
So what would your recommendation be for those who are seeking honest input and assistance?

or...

How can we avoid the copycat pitfalls and market our originality in a way that drives results?

I realize you charge for this kind of information, but is there anything you're willing to share?



Sure, I feel I have been doing that here in Tricky Business for over a decade now. I think the first thing is to ask for it. One of the biggest changes here (Tricky Business) in the last several years is people used to come here with sincere interests looking for true answers and assistance. So first is identifying that you are interested in real honest input and assistance. People are willing to share when they know it is for sincere interests.

To avoid the copycat pitfalls I think the mentalities must change. It has to be a conscious effort to want to learn and to want to be different, unique (and the benefits of such) and stand on your own and not be part of or carried by the pack. We must be able to learn to separate real information from pseudo-information and we must be willing to put in the work.

Also, and I say this often here, everything starts at the foundational level, yet most performers completely miss and overstep this part of the process and it ALWAYS comes back to bite them later with ramifications, problems, setbacks and loss. Literally 99% of the problems, lack of understanding, proper direction, and almost every aspect of performer's business problems can be directly traced back to this missing foundational development. This is often not recognized, realized or understood. So it only stands to reason when the foundation is weak or worse yet missing, anything attempted to be built upon it will be as well and will eventually fall. Of course, when it does, the performer tends to put blame on almost everything else (the economy, their type of entertainment, their performance, the venue or client, and a host of other self-justified thigs) but rarely see the true actual problem. This one single step can add the utmost clarity and direction to creating your performance, your performance markets, how to present, market and sell your business, all of your marketing choices and program and so much more. This is also where the copycat problem starts as well.

I believe the first step is identifying this and much more putting it in the proper perspective. My psychology and therapy training offers two common and consistent sayings of "we can't fix what we won't acknowledge" and "past behaviors are the greatest indicators of future behaviors." These two combined offer a great starting point.

There really needs to be major emphasis put on accepting information and understanding it in the specific and exact context it is being presented or preferred. I see this being one of the worst problems in today's education and business worlds. This followed closely by learning from real, qualified teachers with actual experience and knowledge, not just today's self-proclaimed experts, gurus and authorities that feel just because they can record a video, release an effect or write a self-published pdf, that they are somehow real qualified to teach or educate. We need to be able to identify and separate the real from the wannabees, pseudo and trendy phonies.

Secondly, I believe is the importance of three things:

1. The proper sequential order of learning and progression

2. The real and true "whys" of presented or new content - truly understand both how and why things are as presented and the hows/whys of the expected results

3. A shift back to completeness and comprehensiveness rather than the recent quick, easy, plug-n-play interests and perceived (not real) solutions (or temporary solutions)

In magic specifically, we need to learn actual entertainment industry workings that work across the board, not just what one person (another magician) has done or believes. True education and learning can be used, applied and benefitted across the board with consistent results.

We need to want to learn something completely, from the inside out to get a complete and thorough understanding, then exactly how it can properly be used, implemented or adapted to your own business for your specific desired results.

We see it here in Tricky Business all the time. Only a small handful will truly want (or ask) to get the greater picture, ask the whys and hows, and want to learn things on the deeper, real level from the inside out. This is also the sole reason some succeed and others don't. Why some make $350 a gig and other $1,500 or $5,000. Its funny then how those that do want to get it and strive for a complete and understanding are often criticized and looked upon by those that choose not to here, are unable of doing so, or only wanting to see things on a very general or surface level.

I find it so odd that when people have such direct access to such direct people and knowledge all in one place that they aren't spending every possible minute trying to learn and consume such info and details. When I began I not only wanted this but went out and sought it often traveling hundreds of miles spending hundreds of dollars to do so. It was valued, appreciated and respected. I was a sponge listening and absorbing every moment and morsel of information I could from anyone with real knowledge that was willing to share. I made sure they clearly knew of my appreciation and gratitude.

I truly believe today's performers are more focused in finding shortcuts, magic bullets, and auto-pilot solutions only committing only the minimum amount of time and resources possible. I think we as a community and industry have seen the results of this already.

And also to be clear, I don't charge for my information. I offer so much absolutely for free, often just for the asking. Yes, I have much of my own specific and proprietary information that has a value that I do make available to qualifying people as a consultant, coach, and trainer. I have my live events and resources, however, that in no way affects anything I do here, if anything some of it is occasionally brought up here and can make for some very revealing information and insights, but again at no charge. Contrary to what some want to believe or agendas often brought here, I do not have any interest in the Café having anything to do with my services. A few here have benefited and occasionally want to share, but that is up to them. I will support them when they do as others can greatly benefit as well. I have participated here 7-8 years before even discussing publicly or letting it be known here that I had had such services available for over 25 years. Just as very few people here often want, get or choose to participate in some of the great topics here, my services are not for the casual-interested performer that is typically part of the pack or the newer guru, shortcut generation.
Theodore Lawton
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Wow. Thanks for the great replies.

I want to learn.

I recognize I've made a lot of mistakes in the past by NOT listening or learning about the business side of show business.

I'm going to move to a new market in the next 2 months and I'm starting with a clean slate.

I'm funny and a good entertainer, but I have almost zero business knowledge. The gigs I have done were great- and I learned from things that weren't so great- but people really liked me as a person and my magic.

I'm trying to learn all I can and be that sponge you spoke of right at this moment.

What do you think make up the foundation? What do I absolutely need to start doing now, before I perform any new gigs, that will help me be a successful businessman?

Some questions I have: Should I develop a character or style, as in branding? Should I specialize or perform in varying venues? Where should I look for help in website creation?

I have many other questions, but you probably have answers to questions I haven't even thought to ask, so whatever you have to say I will appreciate.

Thank you in advance for your help.
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Mindpro
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The greatest mistake I hear from performers (of all levels) that are struggling or that have looked at their operation in retrospect is that "they wish they would have spent more time working on and learning the business side of performing years ago when they first were starting to decide to perform for profit, even if only part-time, on the side or occasionally (these things/perspective only matter to you, not your prospective audiences). Success in our business is made in the business side of our operations our show is only our product.

Next, I will tell you in the majority of those that I have talked to, communicate with or consult, coach or train, almost all of them THINK they need or are missing one thing when in reality they are focusing on and thinking about the wrong thing. What they really usually need is something else completely. For example, most performers think once they have a polished, well-rehearsed, market-ready show, all they have to do now is start marketing it. Wrong! This is what the majority do, this is what I call part of the "default" plan or model most think and use for beginning their performing business, and as you see here, many are still struggling years later always chasing after their next booking. (This is also where the cookie-cutter, copycat begins).

I've used the example before that I could come to your town and book you 12 gigs and you would be happy and excited. You would perform those 12 bookings and then you would be right back where you started with no gigs on the books, struggling to wonder how you are again going to get some more bookings. In this example what is needed is not more bookings or a way to get more bookings, but something to ensure this never happens and that there are always bookings coming in and on the books. It is not marketing, no, there is a missing component between having a market-ready show and your marketing. This is what most performers miss completely.

This combined by understanding that entertainment business operates and has a different set of rules than conventional business is also key. Most simply try to use or apply conventional business rules and approaches to their entertainment business which is like putting a square peg into a round hole. People approach and buy (book) entertainment differently than they do conventional business. Which leads to the next important aspect and that is knowing and understanding the mindset, psychology, and process that your customers or prospects will use when approaching booking entertainment. You should know this and these elements often before even they do. You must know how they think, what they want (what they really want, not what they think they want), and most of all know how to present and sell your services to your target prospects based on these specific elements. This combined with the foundational level elements (discussed before) can often be what does separate yourself from the pack, others and any possible competition.

Back to your question about the foundational level, all of these things start being created and put in place on the foundational level. Once done, you have a clear business model, business plan, operational system, marketing plan and the specific and desired positioning you have carefully selected and crafted. You then start dealing in a series of consistent, non-disputable facts. For example, I know when my phone rings, that if I (or my staff) can spend 22 minutes on the phone with that person, I will have nearly a 90% conversion rate, and that (and each) incoming phone call is worth $5,000 to me - regularly and consistently (now for over 30 years!)

Create your business first then add the needed implemental components around it. Another of the greatest mistakes I see (and another reason for the copycat approach) is today's performers are creating and adapting their business around external components such as SEO, website templates, Facebook advertising, and of course other guru-offered nonsense. Are you building your business for algorithms or customers? They are not the same thing. This approach often takes the personality out of business which is detrimental to a performer and their proper business model. The business side of what we do should be structured just like a proper quality performance. As performers, this should be so easy to do, almost natural for most of us when approached the right way.

Also, many performers dread or even despise the business side of things. They'll say things like "I hate sales or selling" which I always find comical because it tells me they are approaching this wrong and that they truly don't understand the art of entertainment business as it is simply an extension of your show/performance. Or it may simply reveal that they are a lousy performer (and likely not truly market-ready in the first place.)

Your character and performing venues questions are also answered as part of the foundational level preparation and structure.
Dannydoyle
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On Jul 14, 2018, Theodore Lawton wrote:

I'm funny and a good entertainer, but I have almost zero business knowledge. The gigs I have done were great- and I learned from things that weren't so great- but people really liked me as a person and my magic.


Well I promised hurt feelingsso here goes. This here is usually the single largest problem. InvariablyI see this written. Let's just sat that it is a non zero number of guys who are absolutely wrong.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Theodore Lawton
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Danny- I'm sure you're right. I can't argue with you on that point. But for now I'll continue to believe that people did like me as a person and my magic as I got several repeat corporate bookings and people brought family and friends to see me at my restaurant gig. I'm sure that there are many people that delude themselves in this area, and I'm certain I still have a lot of room to grow and improve, but I am not hurt by your constructive comments. I actually appreciate it and it causes me to take a better look at myself, so thank you!

Mindpro- So let me ask you this to see if I understand what you're saying. Actually... I don't know what to ask. I feel like I'm missing something. I'm sure it's not what you're saying, it's just my lack of understanding.

I'm a little rusty so here's what I'm considering as first steps to growing my business. Maybe you can guide me with some advice.

Getting back in performance ready shape. I've already been practicing and performing for friends and family to get my skills back to where they were.
Making some business cards
Looking for restaurant and bar type work from which to generate other gigs
Making some kind of website - but I have few photos and zero performance footage at this time. I want to capture this as I go of course.
I would also like to advertise my services to daycares, retirement facilities... anywhere possible. The more work the better.
Eventually I want to market myself to a more upscale crowd. One area I have in mind is trying to find a way in to a touristy area near Seattle. A hotel or resort. Somewhere where there is a turnover of wealthy people that can open the door to corporate and trade shows.

That is my current thinking. Maybe you can offer some advice on steps to take or avoid. Or if my thinking is wrong and I need to correct my vision.

I'm open to any and all suggestions.

Thanks for the discussion!
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Dannydoyle
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Grow into what exactly? Performing for friends and family does rather little for your skills,. It is the equivalent of sharpening a knife the wrong way. It may seem to help short term, but long term it is detrimental to the blade.

People are too scattered in trying to appeal to an audience. What sort of venue do you desire to work? Restaurants won't help you learn much about the stage. It is totally different skill sets and not much transfers from one to the other.

I would ask what your goal is? Your not in performance ready shape. What does that look like and how do you do that? Contrary to popular belief it is not just a matter of doing shows and eventually getting better. HOW do you propose to get better? Because until you do business model, no matterhow well planned, is stuck at the level of your show.

Think of a restaurant with the perfect location and business model and not the greatest food. Average food or even just a bit less. DOOMED to failure right? So many just want to pass over this incredibly important point and I know in this section it is not really what we cover. But the two go hand in hand. When you yourself think your not in performance shape what do you think a person paying you thinks?

You can not build a successful business Thai way. The cornerstone of this build is the act.

You want to capture performance footage of upscale crowds, but don't work for upscale crowds yet and are not in performance shape to do so yet. Daycsre and retirement facilities will set you backwards in your stated goal I'm afraid.

Your FIRST step is to sit down and gather your thoughts. Figure out goals, not dreams. This will help to narrow your focus. Without this it is almost impossible to move forward in an orderly fashion.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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On Jul 16, 2018, Dannydoyle wrote:

Your FIRST step is to sit down and gather your thoughts. Figure out goals, not dreams. This will help to narrow your focus. Without this it is almost impossible to move forward in an orderly fashion.


I agree, it's all part of the foundational process I speak of.
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You mentioned a resort in a touristy town..

are you wanting to perform at corporate events that are hosted at a hotel / resort? Or are you wanting to perform in their restaurants? Or are you wanting to present a full performance in a hotel like Steve Cohen's show in NYC.
Theodore Lawton
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Thanks all.

I want to perform in restaurants in the not too distant future. I'm moving in 2 months. I'd like to be back to performing in 4. I'd like to use the hotel resort restaurant as a home base for meeting clients and performing for events at the hotel. Not stage though... yet.

In all fairness to Danny I need to apologize for not being very clear. And that is part of the problem obviously- lack of clarity. When I say I've been performing for family and friends I lumped performing for co-workers and people at church into that vague group of "friends." I'm just trying to get performing again for anyone so I can get used to talking again. My mechanics are good, but I haven't "performed" while saying my lines in a while so I'm just trying to get back into the swing of things. That's what I meant by "not in performance shape." Saying lines, making eye contact, forming a bond, sharing a magical experience.

I'm taking your comments about focus to heart and I seem to be seeing that everywhere I look and read lately. Several pro magicians ALL say the same thing- to focus on a specialty rather than trying to be a jack-of-all-trades magician. I tried that in the past and I guess I'm still trying to hang on to that in a desperate attempt to seek out work. I learned a valuable lesson over the last few years though- if you listen to successful people and do what they tell you, you can be successful. So I'm willing to let that go or at least focus on one or two areas of specialty at the most.

I enjoy close up magic the most. To the extent that I even began doing my children's shows in a close up style and they were very fun for the kids and for me. I would have them all gathered around a table "helping" me with the magic and we all had fun. It definitely wasn't the cookie cutter "make them laugh at all costs" kids show. We laughed, but we also shared magic and had great interaction. At first I was nervous about this approach, but it worked! Parents loved it too.

So I want to specialize in close up magic at this point. That can involve restaurants, strolling and formal at house parties and corporate, maybe kids shows... But here I risk spreading myself to thin again. So let's say restaurants parties and corporate- but my business cards can say "the close up magic of..." or something to that effect.

I'll leave off there for now. I'm actually going to run out to the library and get some books.

Thanks again. I appreciate you sharing your wisdom with me. I'm also willing to make changes to be successful.
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
charliecheckers
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Theodore- your willingness to listen and change based upon valuable input is a huge strength. It is challenging not to get defensive.

In my opinion, your hopes about having a resort hotel as home base should be considered a dream more than a goal, because there are many steps to get there. So many that you may discover you do not actually want that by the time you would be in a position to be offered it. Remember to think from the clients perspective when looking at realistic goals. That’s not to say you should not dream, but only to say that you should differentiate it from short and medium time bound goals. There is significant competition in any market, so you will need to devote focus and energy towards each of these in order to succeed.

You have mentioned your business card several times. That is such a small part of a plan, that it raises a flag that you need to really learn more about building your business plan. Reading books on entertainment business is a great start.

I would encourage you to keep posting here with sincere interest. It helped our business in ways I could never have imagined when we started.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jul 16, 2018, Theodore Lawton wrote:
Thanks all.

I'm taking your comments about focus to heart and I seem to be seeing that everywhere I look and read lately. Several pro magicians ALL say the same thing- to focus on a specialty rather than trying to be a jack-of-all-trades magician. I tried that in the past and I guess I'm still trying to hang on to that in a desperate attempt to seek out work. I learned a valuable lesson over the last few years though- if you listen to successful people and do what they tell you, you can be successful. So I'm willing to let that go or at least focus on one or two areas of specialty at the most.

I enjoy close up magic the most. So I want to specialize in close up magic at this point. That can involve restaurants, strolling and formal at house parties and corporate, maybe kids shows... But here I risk spreading myself to thin again. So let's say restaurants parties and corporate- but my business cards can say "the close up magic of..." or something to that effect.



I'm still trying to find time to respond to your post above but this is important so let me say this. As I said when learning, becoming educated or being exposed to something new, how you approach it and how you ask is extremely important. And part of that is getting and understanding the "whys". So let me explain a couple of "whys" to what Danny has stated.

I have spent time with and through my agencies representing many celebrities over the years. Through these relationships, I have amassed a collection of various memorabilia. One of the things your post reminds me of is an original 1960s business card I have from Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. (I wish I knew how to post a photo here). It says "The Beach Boys - Music For All Occasions." That was the way things were done back then in the 50-70s for all kinds of performers. They were jacks of all trades and saw themselves that way.

Today things are different. People buy entertainment (and see entertainment differently). Here is a very important concept to understand. When people see you perform, they will always only see you in the context that they know you/see you (on their own). So if someone sees you at a kids party, they will, on their own, only see and think of you as a kids magician. As Danny referred to earlier, they will not think of you as a corporate magician or for their trade show events. Someone could literally ask then "do you know of anyone who we could have perform at our company holiday party, and they likely will not even think of you. This is why it is hard to believe a restaurant or kids close-up work will lead to some of the things you mentioned. Sure it can happen once or twice here and there, but nothing to count on. Now with the right business operational systems in place this can be done, but that is more of an advanced concept from what we are discussing here.

Now to take this a step further, you need to understand consumer markets and professional markets. Same thing often applies here. If someone sees you in consumer market circles (kids parties, birthdays, anniversaries, scouting events, etc.), they likely will not accept you in professional performance markets such as trade shows, cruise ships, association events, destination management events/packages, etc. Each of these book their entertainment much differently and if you are viewed as a consumer market performer, your chances are slim to ever become known in such professional market circles. Especially from the same website, business cards, and promotional materials.

Not to mention if you were trying to market to restaurants, kids parties, corporate events, high-end home events and so on, it would literally cost you tens of thousands of dollars to make the proper imprint in each of those individual markets, even on just a local level.

This is where understanding the mindset, shopping, and booking processes for each of these markets and so many other factors come into play. This is also why all of this needs to be predetermined on the foundational level and process to allow you to know who, where and how to proceed efficiently. In the entertainment business, one of the mistakes I see performers do over and over again is they think and operate from their own thoughts and perspectives. This is a terrible mistake. You are in business to serve and sell to your prospects and customers - you must learn to think, plan, act, respond and execute from their perspective, which is why all of this is so important.

This is why I always suggest you select one or two markets to specialize in. Yes, if you position yourself and your business properly there can be some crossover interest and bookings from other markets but this must be done strategically and properly to get the desired results, without creating the wrong perception or compromising your positioning.

You also need to well aware of the perception of a close-up magician in the markets you choose t specialize in.
.
Theodore Lawton
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I'm going to step back and just listen for a bit. I can see there are a lot of principles I have no clue about. This will give you more time to respond to my other post as well. I can see there is a lot you want to say. I don't want to keep muddying it up with my own thoughts.

Thanks for the awesome replies.
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Christian & Katalina
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Profile of Christian & Katalina
First I want to say that Mindpro and Danny have given excellent insight.

1. A good way to gain perspective is to look at three other good magician websites and then ask yourself, who would be the first pick and why? Too many times people stop their marketing efforts at cool pictures, slick video, and tons of "award winning magician, globe trotting magician, performed for a celebrity" sound bites. What is the difference between what you are selling and what they are buying. I have seen so many magicians aim their marketing at simply trying to look cooler or more successful than the other magician. The question is . . . what is the buyer really looking for?

2. What do you want? or What market are you trying to gain entrance to? The best cruise ship magician's website is not going to get him hired at a restaurant and visa-versa. When restaurants were my focus, all my marketing material was aimed at restaurants. Every picture was me performing at a restaurant, catch phrases, marketing tag-lines for all aimed at to get hired at a restaurant. Once I was working multiple restaurants, I started looking for my next market. But only after I had "owned" that market.

3. Cookie Cutter. Break your website down and categorize every picture, tag-line, and marketing claim. Then compare to other websites.
Award Winning Magician . . .check
Memorable or Unforgettable magic . . .check
List of big company names . . . check
Kayla R of a big company thinks I'm great . . . check
Comedy Magician (I'm hilarious) . . . .check
Holding fan of cards . . . check

After seeing that we probably say the same things as every other magician, we have to ask, what would make them hire us over anyone else? Have I done anything that makes me seem different for more interesting than the other magicians.

4. People spend a lot of time trying to prove they are better than the other person. Maybe we should focus on being more interesting than that other person.

Just my thoughts.
Milbourne Christopher Award for Mentalism 2011
The Annemann Award for Menatalism 2016
Author of "Protoplasm" Close-up Mentalism
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
19064 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
Or focus on being yourself. Nobody is beget at that than you are. Great post.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jul 16, 2018, Theodore Lawton wrote:


So I want to specialize in close up magic at this point. That can involve restaurants, strolling and formal at house parties and corporate, maybe kids shows... But here I risk spreading myself to thin again. So let's say restaurants parties and corporate- but my business cards can say "the close up magic of..." or something to that effect.

I'll leave off there for now. I'm actually going to run out to the library and get some books.

Thanks again. I appreciate you sharing your wisdom with me. I'm also willing to make changes to be successful.



Sorry, it has taken me so long to respond to your above post, busy week on the road and in the studio. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, plans and perspectives.

Sounds like you have a basic general outline of a plan. I must say you are at a very exciting time as is anyone that is about to face a new start in a new location/market. For many experienced performers, it is a chance to restructure, reposition and perhaps even get a do-over. For you just getting back into it this too offers a great opportunity.

I can respect your decision to just want to specialize in close-up magic, but I'd caution you to just be aware (and some of the close-up performers here can chime in on this) that many lay people will often just assume you also will do stage (or platform) magic as well. It is just a layman's way of thinking. They rarely differentiate between close-up, strolling, parlor, stage and illusions. They just think of it all as magic, which is why we must position and educate throughout our efforts. Be prepared and then know how to professionally say no to things that are out of your scope. Don't be afraid to say no to things that aren't in your preferred area of specialty. Don't mislead people and don't accept gigs you are truly not ready or qualified for. Especially on someone else's dollar.

Sounds like starting off in more casual low-pressure performing environments may be your best position to begin. I would spend a great deal of time at the foundational level making all of the necessary decisions as to what and how you want to proceed, be identified and operate. Then create an overview plan including a very concise and simple Elevator Pitch so you easily explain and identify exactly how you want to be perceived. This includes deciding the markets or venues you want to be seen and known in.

Remember, regardless of how you see yourself (just part-time, only doing it for fun and a few extra dollars, as a side thing in addition to my regular job, etc.), anytime you take money for your services others will see you as a professional. A professional consists of many things far beyond just accepting money for your services with which you should become familiar. Also, once seen as a professional, expectations are also different and become elevated.

I only share a lot of this as it is much more than just deciding to perform as a magician and operating from your own thoughts, beliefs, and perspectives. This is how most magicians begin which is why you will find 35, 45, 55 and 65-year-old guys still struggling and trying to figure it out.

Just as you continue to move forward in learning about this great business of performing, remember four things -

1.) always be aware and strive to understand the greater picture, as it is there where the all-encompassing comes into focus

2.) you don't know what you don't how. You also don't realize how much you don't know, so put in the effort to try to understand what you don't know as I can almost assure you most others have not done this work and you can quickly rise above the competition in all aspects.

3. Be careful to whom you listen to and choose to learn from. Separate facts based on industry operations, experience and real-world consistency, from opinions and general information. Remember most magicians are lousy (most admittedly) business people, so keep that in mind when asking for input and accepting lousy business advice. Nothing will beat experience and a complete and thorough understanding.

4. Work on your performance and performance-related things equally as much as you do on the business. A true 50/50 balance is ideal. Once you get your performance where you want it you should switch to a 70 (business)/30 (performance) balanace, and even eventually 80/20 if you choose to continue to perform professionally even if on a part-time level.

I am excited for you as I am sure others are here as well. This is where many of us pay it forward and are happy to help as long as it is coming from a sincere interest and open-mindedness.
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